2016 was a bad year just…just overall. Bad for movies, bad for politics, really bad for celebrity deaths…good for music though. But it’s almost over, and with it comes our best and our worst lists of the year. And I’ve been pining to do this list for a few months now, as one last f**k you to 2016. So, let’s get this over with so we can get to 2017 already…which isn’t promising to be much better, but never mind. Alright, away we go!
Honorable Mention: God’s Not Dead 2
In a lot of ways, God’s Not Dead 2 is my least favorite movie of 2016. It certainly feels like it deserves to be named the worst of the year, if only for being offensive, stupid and offensively stupid. But honestly, who cares? Who cares about God’s Not Dead 2 except people who are already in its target audience, or people who make fun of bad movies on youtube? Let’s be honest: Up until this paragraph, you’d forgotten this movie existed, and you’ll forget it exists again by the time you’re done reading this article. So God’s Not Dead 2 winds up off this list because I don’t care enough about it to figure out where it deserves to be.
Independence Day 2 is everything a bad sequel should be. Useless new characters, sidelined or just plain missing old characters, a plot that tries and fails to one up its original in terms of excitement and intensity, and a near complete lack of engagement in the plot. If there was ever proof that whatever magic touch Roland Emmerich had when he made the original Independence Day is gone, then the sequel should be it. Maybe he should just stop trying to recreate that magic and just focus on different stuff…wait, I’ve seen Stonewall, never mind.
Boring, confused and devoid of even the tiniest amount of happiness or joy, I cannot understand why anyone would want to subject themselves to this piece of garbage. Once you get past the committed performances from Affleck and Gadot, all you have left to talk about are the film’s failings and bizarre moments like the jar of Lex Luthor’s pee. But it made money, so to misquote a meme (that was already a misquote): Brace yourself, sequels are coming. Speaking of:
Here is a movie so bad that the Producers had no faith in it. That’s the only explanation I can find for why it was so clearly cut to the bone before it even hit theaters. Perhaps the director’s cut will make it less incoherent, but I doubt it could make it less unpleasant. Despite deeply committed performances from Robbie, Smith and Davis, the awful script and direction are insurmountable. And seriously, Jared Leto is THE worst Joker ever put to screen, an awful performance that will live alongside Schwarzenegger in Batman and Robin or Faye Dunaway in Supergirl as some of the worst villains ever to appear in a superhero film.
For a long time I struggled between this, Suicide Squad and Batman v. Superman as which one was worse. Certainly elements of those two films were worse than elements of this film, yes? But then I realized: They also had elements that worked, albeit in isolation. And The Legend of Tarzan has none of those. Not a single element, from the script to the direction to the terrible terrible acting even comes close to working. And I will take a bad movie with isolated good elements over a movie that technically averages out better but has not a single good element in it every day. And for a long time, I thought it was going to take worst of the year…until a challenger appeared.
Last year when I named Pixels as my worst movie of the year, I decided I just needed to stop engaging with Adam Sandler movies, a vow I’ve kept to. I mean, he’s had some new movies up on Netflix, being terrible and tempting me, but I’ve thus far stayed away. And with this utterly worthless movie hitting VoD, I think I might need to make a similar vow about Kevin Smith. This movie is ugly, boring and weirdly mean spirited towards its Canadian setting. Why Smith decided that an entire movie where the only joke was “Man, Canada sure is different from America,” was a good idea would be the question for the ages, if it wasn’t immediately superseded by the question of “Will Johnny Depp really work with anyone who will let him keep digging his own grave?”